South Africa’s Taste Holdings appoints Dylan Pienaar as new CEO

SOUTH AFRICA – Taste Holdings, South Africa’s licensed operator of Starbucks Coffee and Domino’s Pizza, has appointed its chief operating officer, Dylan Pienaar, as chief executive officer effective.

Dylan will replace Tyrone Moodley who stepped down and has been reappointed as a non-executive member of the company, reports Reuters.

Tyrone Moodley, the former chief executive, took over the position after the resignation of the co-founder and CEO Carlo Gonzaga.

The company claims Moodley fulfilled his duties to restructure the business and support the new management team on its strategic alignment adding that this is consistent with its transition plans.

Pienaar, who has experience in global quick service restaurants brands in South Africa, is set to help the firm recover its balance sheets and execute its expansion plan.

In January this year, Taste announced that it will resume rolling out more coffee shops and fast food outlets following a US$9.51 million cash injection by its shareholders.

According to Grant Pattison, Chairman of the firm, the group was set to have the necessary capital it needs to continue with its expansion as soon as the rights offer is processed.

Pattison said the rights offer, which sparked fears of a likelihood delisting the firm, is not part of a stealth delisting of the group, and though the board has debated the issue, it  has decided that the company is best left listed.

The group has also accessed a US$14.41 million loan facility provided by Riskowitz Value Fund (RVF) following Sean Riskowitz’s, who controls 66% stake in the firm, support in the funding.

In November 2018, during the release of its financial results for the half-year to end-August, Taste announced the decision to withhold its expansion plan on the food outlets as a way to preserve cash.

According to the results, the group had incurred an operating loss of US$6.27 million and generated a negative cash flow of US$2.44 million from operating activity despite getting US$28.68 million from a rights offer in February 2018.

Taste is set to release results this week and it’s still not going to be pretty: the company expects to make a headline loss of between 24.8c and 26.4c a share, against the loss of 41.8c reported last year.

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